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Irish announce 2018 tour to Australia


By Robert Jones

Ireland will play their first three-Test series against Australia next year, it was announced yesterday.

Joe Schmidt's squad will face the Wallabies in Brisbane on June 9, Melbourne a week later, and then Sydney on June 23.

Irish Rugby Union chief executive Philip Browne said: "The IRFU are delighted to tour Australia in June 2018.

"Games involving Ireland and Australia are always great occasions and this is will be an exciting tour.

"The Irish diaspora are renowned for supporting the Irish team when they visit their new homes so we know there will be a party atmosphere to match the world-class rugby."

Australian Rugby Union chief executive Bill Pulver added: "The rivalry between the two nations has grown enormously in recent years, with some memorable encounters.

"With a huge number of Irish ex-pats living in Australia, Ireland will enjoy strong support when they are here for matches in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney."

Ireland have not played a Test in Australia since 2010, but they beat the Wallabies in Dublin three years ago, and again in 2016, both by three-point margins.

Ireland's last victory over the Wallabies in Australia came 38 years ago, when they claimed a 9-3 victory in a closely-fought encounter.

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